Thanjavur – The Forgotten Cenotaphs

Raja Gori, also known as Kailasa Mahal, is a complex of Maratha era funerary temples in Thanjavur. Possibly the only one of its kind in Tamilandu. A place few outsiders visit and that even some local guides are unaware of.

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The Clay Horses Of Ayyanar

Growing up in a small town joint-family with an incessant stream of visiting grand aunts and uncles fed my fascination for mythology, and left me with a fair knowledge of the Hindu pantheon and the stories they inhabit. But the blue skinned equestrian ‘God’ sticking out of the pile of polished antiques was unlike any I had seen before. His swarthy complexion had me mistaking…

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Bespoke Luxury at La Villa Pondicherry

An unassuming gate, that we drive past twice, opens into a small, leafy courtyard dominated by our restored 19th century ‘manor’ hotel: the former Villa Notre-Dame de la Garde, one time residence of the principal of the French school opposite. Now re-christened La Villa. We find the sparingly restored facade charming. We are relieved to discover, however, that the distressed charm ends at…

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Pondicherry – An Ersatz French Weekend

Travel had taken a backseat in our lives with the past several weeks being consumed by hospital visits and doctors appointments. Thankfully R is fully recovered from a minor surgical procedure, and a condition I was diagnosed with turned out to be less scary than it initially sounded, but they made for some awfully stressful moments. A final all…

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The City I Call Home

On the East coast of India facing the Bay of Bengal, directly across the peninsula from the place where i was born, sits Chennai, formerly Madras, of the ‘checks‘ and ‘curry‘ fame. Where St Thomas, the Apostle, was martyred in 70 AD, and the British East India Company built their first major settlement (in India) in 1639. Where cricket…

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